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Soldier with terminal cancer to brave tank of sand tiger sharks to help charity
A former soldier from South Oxhey, who has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, is preparing to brave a tank full of sand tiger sharks to raise money for a cancer charity.
Steve Owen, 49, underwent brain surgery in December 2011 to remove a tumour and began chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, only to be given the grim news that the cancer was too far advanced and nothing more could be done.
Soon after his operation the father of two, who served in the Royal Corps of Signals for 23 years and was stationed in Germany, Iraq and Bosnia, ignored medical advice and returned to work four days a week as chief information security officer at telecommunications company mBlox.
He also began planning the scuba session in the shark tank at Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port which will see him jump into the pool with the sharks this Friday (October 19).
He said: "I don’t want to stay at home and wait to die, I want to leave some kind of legacy.
"The doctors told me they want me to get on with life but don’t think I should go back to work.
"It’s a struggle, having been in the army where they will literally drag you out of bed, to be told not to overdo it.
"I am going to do a shark dive because I can’t run any more. I can walk but unfortunately I will never run again.
"A friend of mine, Andrew Dark, suggested doing a shark dive and he’s going to do it with me. It feels like an achievement for me as well as an opportunity to raise some money.
"It’s something I have never done and you have got to respect sharks because they are killers but I wouldn’t say it’s something I’m scared of.”
Mr Owen of Cherry Hills, South Oxhey, said he wants to raise £20,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support after being inspired by young people he met while undergoing radiotherapy treatment.
He said: "This all started for me when I was undergoing radiotherapy and I saw children coming in for the same treatment.
"They were only young but I didn’t hear a peep out of them. I am 49 and I have had a good crack at life but they are young people and yet they never complained or moaned.
"Once I turned up for an appointment with others and one of the machines was broken, one of the guys in his 30s was complaining and giving the staff a tough time but the kids were so patient.
"I just hope and pray the kids I met aren’t terminal. All I hope is that they get better."
To support Mr Owen, go to www.justgiving.com/Steve-and-Andrews-Shark-Dive.